In the section on preparing talent, we discussed how to record your script in short sections. If the editor were to stitch these sections together side-by-side, the subject's face and hands might abruptly switch between clips. This is called a jump cut, and for editors, it poses an interesting challenge. Thankfully, this is where b-roll comes in handy, to mask these jump cuts.
In addition to visual editing, you can (and should) add graphic effects to your branded video. These graphic elements can include animation, text graphics, fade ins or outs, lower-third graphic overlays, interview names and titles, logos, product modeling, and more. These elements really tie all your branding efforts together, so use them smartly and you’ll have a professional video you can be proud of.
Vimeo is not as popular as YouTube or Facebook, but its affordable paid subscriptions allow you to upload and customize your videos for placement on your website, landing pages, or email campaigns. A paid subscription removes ads and suggested videos after your clip ends. At BJC Branding, we opted for a paid Vimeo plan, so we could upload video content to our website and share via email marketing.
Just as important as your visual effects are your audio effects. Sound mixing, dialogue, narration, and music all come together to create the audio that’s heard when your video is watched. Even just adding a layer of ambient sound over a quiet scene can make the difference between what feels like a high-quality video and a low-quality one. Make sure a professional handles your audio mixing, so you have the perfect sound levels, foley effects, dialogue volume, and more.
One way to connect with customers is by posting tutorials relevant to your line of work. While it may seem as though you will be giving away your secrets, you’ll actually establish yourself as a subject matter expert, leading viewers to want to learn more about your business. A salon could offer styling tips, for instance, and a marketing firm could do a series on building your brand using the latest social media site.
Your iPhone might do a great job of focusing on the subject when you take photos, but when it comes to video the camera will continue adjusting and re-adjusting as you move around the scene. To solve this problem, lock the exposure before you press record. Hold your finger down on the subject of the video until a yellow box appears with the words “AE/AF Lock”.
Test and listen. Think you can record the perfect voice over in just one take? Think again! Invest in a good pair of headphones and keep an eye on your audio quality throughout the recording process. It's easier to get a new take of audio than trying to fix it during the editing process. We recommend running through your script a few times, especially the first few paragraphs, to ensure that your voice is fully warmed up. If you hear popping or hissing sounds, try standing further away from the mic or invest in a pop filter.
One of the best ways to improve the look of your video is to include b-roll. B-roll is the supplementary footage included as a cutaway. This might include shots of a customer service rep talking on a phone, a designer editing your website, visuals of your office, or even screenshots of your product. The key with b-roll is to make sure each and every piece enhances the story.
Cash rules all! Yes, creative planning and strategy are important, but let’s be real. Without the proper budget, it’s going to be difficult to get exactly what you want. Plan for the money and resources at your disposal. Plan what you’ll create or shoot in-house and what you may want to outsource to a production company. Plan what you can splurge on and what you may want to save on.
When it comes time to shoot, clear out unnecessary people from the room and turn off the overhead lights. With your three-point lighting setup, there will be no need for those harsh fluorescents. When — and only when — everything is set up, call in your talent. There's nothing worse than being nervous, and then having to anxiously watch as lights are turned on and the camera is tested.
Survey your followers. You may have a big email list of fans who may not yet be customers. Use a simple tool like Polldaddy or SurveyMonkey to ask your followers one question: What challenge would you like us to help you solve? Gini Dietrich, CEO of Arment Dietrich and lead blogger at Spin Sucks, has some great advice on surveying your audience in this episode of The Actionable Marketing Podcast.
Earned distribution, like owned, is free. You have relatively little to lose using it other than time and effort, but unlike owned and paid, the payoff can be drastically more unpredictable. From SEO efforts that boost your search presence, to building relationships with influencers you’ve never met, you never quite know what your ROI will be — it can be enormous or it can fizzle to an end. But don’t skip earned distribution altogether! Take a little more time to think strategically about which earned channels will help you accomplish your video goals.
For any "attract" video, avoid speaking too much about your product. Instead, let your brand values and personality be your north star(s). Finally, because these videos can live on a variety of channels, keep in mind the strategies of each platform. For example, a Facebook video might have a square aspect ratio and text animations for soundless viewers.